My favorite part of Southern Exposure was meeting so many amazing people. I had a lot of fun making my film and traveling to some of the many beautiful areas of Alabama. I love what Southern Exposure represents and was honored to be a part of it!
—Mindy Keeley, 2014 Fellow
Having the chance to explore Alabama's natural landscapes, the mentorship and peer-critique process within a diverse group of filmmakers, and the networking opportunities the process brought with it gave me such a positive experience with a group of peers whose friendship and work I truly value.
—Rhonda Chan Soo, 2013 Fellow
Southern Exposure was an amazing experience – learning about the pressures on the environment, being embraced by Alabama's community of environmental advocates, soaking in beautiful natural treasures, spending a summer with a talented group of filmmakers – I couldn't recommend it more.
—Emily Fraser, 2013 Fellow
They made it really easy for us to fall in love with Alabama, especially as first timers. I think they also made it really easy for us to become concerned about this beautiful place because they opened our eyes to a very diverse range of pressing environmental needs here.
—Liza Slutskaya, 2016 Fellow and 2018-19 Program Coordinator
My experience in Alabama in 2014 had a profound impact on me as a filmmaker, but more importantly I linked up with a great posse of friends and collaborators.
—Chris Jones, 2014 Fellow
Through the personalized mentorship and support provided throughout the fellowship, I truly grew as a filmmaker, producer and storyteller, and was able to explore the beauty of Alabama. The fellowship definitely provided the steppingstones to my current career path as a video producer.
—Kaitlin McMurry, 2018 Fellow
Run by an amazing group of experienced filmmakers & passionate advocates, it's impossible to leave this program without an impressive film for your portfolio and meaningful connections to those fighting for important issues across Alabama. I wish I could be a part of this fellowship every summer!
—Celine Francois, 2021 Fellow
I truly believe that Southern Exposure is a MUST for young, southern documentary filmmakers with interests in the realm of Social and Environmental Justice. Not often do you get an opportunity like this in the South, especially one of such value and importance.
—Jeb Brackner, 2019 Fellow
This opportunity allowed me to grow as a professional in the world of environmental filmmaking & gave me skills + insights on how I can use film & media to be a powerful advocate of the natural world. I gained a better appreciation for the culture, people & nature of the beautiful state of Alabama!
—David Diaz, 2018 Fellow
With a price tag of over $5 billion, the Northern Beltline would not only be the most expensive road project in Alabama history, but it would also push sprawl into rural landscapes, exacerbate air pollution in the region, and increase polluted runoff into the Black Warrior and Cahaba Rivers. Who will profit—and who will pay—if the controversial Northern Beltline is built around the city of Birmingham? Directed by Rhonda Chan Soo.
The Forever Wild Land Trust Program created state-owned Nature Preserves and Recreation areas after Alabama voters approved a constitutional amendment establishing the program in 1992, making it the most successful conservation ballot measure in the history of the United States. Here is the inspiring story of Alabama’s Forever Wild Land Trust, which has been renewed for another 20 years thanks to overwhelming public support. Directed by Sebastian Lasaosa Rogers .
Despite the dangers revealed by catastrophic coal ash spills, political and industry pressure has delayed the adoption of the tough federal regulations needed to ensure safe disposal of coal ash. As a result, coal ash ponds and landfills continue to leak toxins into rivers, streams, and groundwater, potentially affecting the quality of drinking water supplies for Alabamians.
Directed by Nicholas Price.
Active strip mines in the Black Warrior River watershed are causing irreversible damage to the landscape and potentially jeopardizing the health of waterways and local communities. Here is a sobering look at the devastating impacts of strip mining on water quality, and the communities and wildlife that depend on clean water. Directed by Lacey Kennedy.
Dams can permanently disturb the structure and function of once free-flowing water bodies, and the damming of the Coosa River has resulted in one of the largest extinction events in U.S. history with 40 species lost forever. How has the damming of Alabama's rivers altered our watersheds, water quality, and water quantity of our state? Directed by Katherine Gorringe.
Every time it rains, water carries trash, chemicals, and other pollutants directly into our rivers and streams, posing a serious threat to the health of our waterways and drinking water. Polluted runoff from our streets, parking lots and other surfaces is a major problem for Alabama’s waters, and one of the leading causes of water pollution in the South. Is it too late to turn the tide? Directed by Emily Fraser.
Despite the abundance of sunshine in the Southeast, solar energy is a vastly underutilized resource in Alabama, and the current state of politics makes it difficult for Alabama to catch up with the rest of the country for clean energy solutions. Why is Alabama dependent on traditional energy sources when there are cleaner, more cost-effective alternatives? Will Alabama move forward or stay behind? Directed by Luke Buckley.
Nearly half of Mobile Bay’s shoreline is armored with bulkheads and concrete seawalls under the assumption that they prevent erosion. Unfortunately, these hard structures are expensive, temporary, and actually cause erosion in adjacent areas, speeding the breakdown of our fragile shores. Property owners on Mobile Bay are increasingly turning to “living shorelines” as a cost-effective solution to beach erosion that also benefits the natural ecosystem and local economy. Directed by Laurence Alexander.